Have you ever dreamed to reach the highest point on Earth and take a look at our world from it? Would you like to see the view that takes your breath away and proves that our planet is round because it's the point, from where you can actually see curvature on the horizon (against all the claims of flat-earthers)? And are you ready to risk your life, to accomplish this goal?

If you give a positive answer to all these questions, this article is for you.

First of all, you should understand that you're not the only person lured by Mount Everest, a magnificent mountain also known as Top of the World. Since the 1920s, it has attracted numerous climbers and scientists from around the globe. Not everyone made it to the top and a lot of people didn't come back from it. But still, many climbers are fascinated by the idea to get to the peak of Mount Everest. The good news is, as of this year, over 4,000 individuals made it to the summit and back, which proves that it's not impossible to do it!

But to succeed in your endeavor to climb the world's tallest mountain, you need to know the basic information about Mount Everest. This way, you'll understand what it takes to climb it and realize whether you actually want to do it. You still have some time to think, because this year's climbing season (which is April-May, when conditions are not as harsh as in other months) is over. If you want, you can start preparing right now and attempt to climb Everest (or at least hike to its Base Camp) next year.

20 Everest Is High And It's Still Growing

The height of Mount Everest is 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level. Indeed, it makes it one of the most challenging mountains in the world to climb. And it's also a dream for most mountaineers to reach the summit of Mount Everest and see the world from its highest point.

It's interesting that, despite already being the world's tallest mountain, Everest keeps on growing steadily. Of course, it's not the kind of growth that'd be noticeable for climbers, as the mountain becomes only a few millimeters (0.16 inches) taller each year. It's happening because the continental plates that formed the Himalayas still keep on moving.

But who knows, how tall Everest is going to be in a couple of centuries...

19 Learn The History Of The Mountain

It's estimated that Mount Everest is about 450 to 500 million years old, but only in the 18th-century people began to survey the area around the peak. In the early 1920s, it began attracting climbers, who wanted to be the first to conquer the tallest mountain. But since they weren't prepared to deal with such a great attitude, for decades their attempts had been unsuccessful.

Only in 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary, a beekeeper from New Zealand, and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa from Nepal, finally made their way to the summit and, what's also important, back down. Since then, hundreds of people from all over the world, male and female, young and old, healthy and disabled, managed to reach the highest peak and return to tell about their incredible journey.

18 The Many Names Of Everest

In 1857, Mount Everest was named after Welsh surveyor Sir George Everest, who was Surveyor General of India of a British survey team that first discovered the mountain in 1841. Even though it's the name most people in the world know, it's not the only one.

The highest peak of the Earth is also called Chomolungma by the Tibetans. This name translates to "Goddess Mother of Mountains." In Nepal, it's called Sagarmatha, which means "Forehead in the Sky," and in Darjeeling, people named it "Deodungha" (or "Holy Mountain") long before Europeans discovered the mountain and gave it a European name.

Which one of these names do you like the most?

17 Climbers Certainly Need To Be Prepared

Climbing Mount Everest is possible only for experienced climbers, even though a lot of people used to think otherwise. In the 1980s and 1990s, professional climbers began gathering expeditions to the summit and took everyone, even inexperienced mountaineers, who wanted to climb and was able to pay the price. But it has changed and now novice climbers aren't allowed to join the expeditions.

So if you haven't climbed any mountains higher than 6,500 meters (21,000 feet), don't even think about Everest.

And if you have, you still have to be prepared. You need to know how your organism reacts to altitude and cold temperatures, and you have to be very well prepared physically. That is, train a lot. And then a little bit more. And more.

16 Financially, Included

But not only physical preparation is needed. You also have to prepare financially, because climbing Everest costs from $35,000 to more than $100,000. You might be wondering why the price is so huge, so let's try to break it down:

  • Training with a professional trainer: $5,000-$35,000
  • Climbing permit: $11,000
  • Other climbing fees: $7,000-$15,000 (it's the money you'll have to pay at some points on the way)
  • Oxygen: $3,700
  • Your gear: $7,000-$10,000
  • Personal Sherpa, plus everything he needs (oxygen, gear, etc): $10,000
  • Food and water: over $3,000
  • Traveling from home to Everest Base Camp: $3,000-$6,000
  • Misc stuff, such as Wi-Fi, med-kit, etc: about $5,000

Would you like to go on?

15 What To Bring With You?

Now, if you still want to climb, let's talk about what you should take with you. Of course, you're going to need a good tent and high-quality equipment, including clothes, gloves, socks, and shoes designed for climbing. Also, you'll need to have an ice ax, trekking pole, latch hooks, and everything else your hiking company will advise you to take.

Besides, it's recommended to bring a battery pack, first aid kit, a reusable water bottle to avoid buying bottled water on the way, and wet wipes that you might need to use instead of the shower. The toiletries you will need are sun protection cream, SPF lip balm, and biodegradable hand washes.

14 Get Back To Basics

While living in the Everest Base Camp (or any other camp on the mountain for that matter), you'll have to return to basics. Since you're going to be in very remote areas, there won't be wi-fi in most spots, the mobile connection will be spotty, and, of course, there won't be shops here and there in the camps, offering you to buy some snacks. Besides, you'll have to be ready to use squat toilets with just a hole in the ground and shower only as often as they'll have hot water for you.

Also, keep in mind that the higher you go in the Himalaya, the more expensive everything gets. So pack up everything you need in Kathmandu, instead of hoping to do it on your way to the Base Camp.

13 Weather Isn't Very Friendly There

Weather conditions on Everest are extremely harsh. In fact, along with treacherous terrain, weather, namely cold exposure, is one of the main reasons why climbing the world's highest peak is so dangerous.

The temperature on Everest never rises above freezing points. On average, it's about -19 degrees Celsius in summer and -36 degrees Celsius in winter. But cold temperatures aren't the only bad thing. There are also freezing winds that reach 200 miles per hour and more.

And, of course, let's not forget that the mountain is covered in ice and snow, so there is always the risk of an avalanche...

12 There Are Two Main Routes To The Summit

You still wanna go? Great! Then let's talk about how you're going to climb Mount Everest.

Even though there are more actual ways to the summit, only two of them are used regularly by climbers. It's the one known as South Col on the Nepali side, and the second one is known as North Col or Northeast Ridge on the Tibetan side.

South Col is more frequently used and, in fact, it was the one Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took to reach the summit back in 1953. If you decide to take it, too, you'll have to fly to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and then - to Lukla, from where you're going to begin your trek to Everest Base Camp.

11 How Long Does It Take To Climb?

Climbing Everest will take you more time than you might think. Due to the extremely high altitudes, all climbers need to undergo an acclimatization process, meaning that they'll have to stop at certain altitudes for some time, to ensure a safe journey.

But let's take a look at more precise timings. It'll take you about a week to arrive at Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu (or Lhasa, if you choose to take North Col). Then you'll have to move from one camp to another on Everest and spend some time in each of them, helping your body get used to the height. On average, it usually takes about 40 days from the first day in the Base Camp, to reach the summit.

10 Beware Of The Altitude Sickness

Even if 40 days might seem to be too long, remember that you shouldn't rush the acclimatization process, because it might cost you too much.

While getting used to the height, look out for the symptoms of altitude sickness, which include nausea, headache, dizziness, exhaustion, as well as more serious signs, such as difficulty walking, increased breathlessness, coughed-up pink liquid, and confusion or loss of consciousness. These symptoms can occur as a result of the reduction in barometric pressure and oxygen and, if left without attention, things can end badly for you.

If any of these symptoms occur, a person shouldn't go any higher within the next 24-48 hours and if they worsen, it's recommended to descend.

9 Khumbu Icefall, AKA The Area You Want To Pass Quickly

Khumbu Icefall is known as one of the most treacherous areas on your way to the summit. It's located between Base Camp and Camp I, on the Nepali side of the mountain, at an altitude of 5,486 meters (17,999 ft). Its main danger is about the fact that it may collapse suddenly, at any given moment. Just imagine the huge blocks of ice tumbling down the glacier from time to time. Some of them have a size ranging from a little car to a large house. Would you like to be standing under any of them? I guess not!

So even with the use of special ladders and ropes that help climbers pass this point as quickly as possible, Khumbu Icefall remains dangerous, due to its ever-shifting nature.

8 You'll Need Extra Oxygen

To climb Mount Everest, you are certainly going to need to get quite a few bottles of oxygen, because lack of it can aggravate the symptoms of altitude sickness and put not only your ascent to the summit at risk, but also your life. So be sure to breathe your bottled oxygen as often as your instructor says.

However, there were a few individuals, who managed to climb Everest without the use of supplementary oxygen. The first one to do it was Reinhold Messner, back in 1978. Later on, he managed to conquer all 14 Eight Thousanders (i.e., mountains higher than 8,000 meters above sea level) without using bottled oxygen. Talk about Superman!

7 The Closer You Are To The Summit, The More Dangerous It Is

The higher you climb on the mountain, the harder your journey gets. After all, the symptoms of altitude sickness are more likely to appear or aggravate, when you're getting closer to the summit. There's less and less oxygen in the air, it gets harder to climb, and, at some point, you might even start questioning why you've even decided to go there.

Besides, at the altitude higher than 8,000 meters (26,000 feet), a so-called "Death Zone" starts. This is the area that should be passed as quickly as possible (both up to the summit and back down) because temperatures there dip to extremely low levels and the altitude takes its final toll on your body.

6 Reaching The Summit Isn't The End Of The Journey

Imagine that you've reached the summit. What do you feel? Most likely, it's something like, "Yaaay! I did it!" And, probably, you don't even think about the fact that going up is only half the journey.

Did you know that, according to experienced climbers, the descent is even more dangerous than ascent? While you were climbing up, you were focused entirely on your goal - to reach the top of the world! You've accomplished your goal, and now what? Now you're unfocused, exhausted, and can even become miserable. As a result, statistically, climbers are more likely to stop their journey (if you know what I mean) exactly on their way down.

So at the moment when you reached the summit, you should immediately start thinking about your successful descent. It's your next goal!

5 Everest Has Very Unexpected Landmarks

Approximately 300 people gave up their lives on their way to the summit, or back. Most often, such a tragic event happens as a result of altitude sickness, exposure, frostbite, injury from fall, ice collapse, avalanche, or a sickness related to harsh conditions on the mountain.

So if you still plan to climb Mount Everest, you should be ready to see a number of very special "landmarks" on your way. About 200 people, who lost their lives, while trying to realize their dream to conquer the world's highest peak, are still there, on Everest. You might be wondering why no one takes them from there. The answer is very simple. At such a great altitude, it's hard for a person to carry their own body, let along someone else's. For this reason, recovering one body requires at least six people, so most of them are just left there.

4 Sherpas Will Help You On Your Way Up (And Down)

Reading all the entries above, you might have started thinking, "How is it even possible to climb Everest in so harsh conditions?" Well, yes, it's harsh, but it's not impossible, especially since you're going to get a lot of help from Sherpas.

Sherpas are the unsung heroes of Mount Everest, who do everything to make the ascent (and descent) as easy as possible for the climbers. They are the ones who take most of the risk on themselves, installing the ladders on Khumbu Icefall and ropes throughout the entire route. They are the ones, who carry climbers' luggage. They are the ones, who cook all the food. And they're also the ones, who can give you psychological support, only because they're extremely friendly and understandable guys.

So if you go up there, appreciate your Sherpa!

3 It Can Get Crowded

We live in the age of traffic jams and overcrowding. At times, we want to take a vacation in nature, just to get some rest from all these people. You might think that such a remote area as Everest is a good place to hide away from the crowds, but you're so wrong!

The photo you can see below was taken by climber Ralf Dujmovits in 2012 and it shows a 'human snake' of 600 climbers on Everest who lined up to reach the summit. This is the moment when you should recall that the more time you spend at this altitude, the more you're likely to feel its effect on your body. In other words, overcrowding on Everest doesn't only create inconveniences for climbers. It also threatens their lives.

Would you like to find yourself standing in this line? I know I wouldn't... Seems like it's high time to start regulating the number of people, who attempt to climb Everest per season.

2 And It Can Turn Into A Dumping Ground

Another reason to regulate the number of climbers on Everest is the pollution issue. Since this mountain seems to have turned into some kind of an extreme amusement park, it faces a serious litter problem. It's estimated that more than 50 tons (!!) of waste is left on the mountain after the climbing season. Due to this issue, a new law that appeared in 2014 requires climbers to bring back at least 8 kilos of waste on the descent. Those who fail to do it won't get their $4,000 deposit back from the government.

But even with this law in action, a lot of litter still remains on Everest. To get a visual confirmation of what we're talking about now, just take a look at the photo above. In it, you can see a Sherpa collecting the garbage left by climbers on Everest.

Guess it's time to become at least a little bit more conscious about our impact on nature, isn't it?

1 Everest Appeared On Google Maps!

But let's finish on a nicer note and praise the man, who broke the record for the highest number of peak conquests. Apa Sherpa ascended Everest 21 times and for that, he was nicknamed Super Sherpa! He stopped climbing in 2011, after his 21st ascent, because promised it to his wife. "Everyone says 21 is a good number. I have to make my family happy. Every time I go, they worry because Everest is very risky," he said.

In 2015, Apa Sherpa helped Google Maps to collect Street View imagery and map different local landmarks, from schools to base camps, around the peak. So due to Super Sherpa, who seems to have Everest and everything around it at his fingertips by now, we can "trek" world's highest mountain from the comfort of our home!

Now, the ultimate question remains: Are you ready to climb Everest next year?

References: MSN, Buzzfeed, Matador Network, Standard, Live Science, BBC